tributesinwood

Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “lighthouse”

Finished Up

I added a few details like door knobs from little brass nails and I used a punch to imprint some circles where the wood panels exist to make them look like large nail heads.  Following that, I brushed onto the carved sections one coat of satin urethane finish.  I’ve left the uncarved portions of the bark unfinished as I’ve found that the urethane turns the “raw” bark quite dark and it doesn’t really look all that appealing in my opinion.

So, here it is…click on the picture to make it bigger.

 

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Finishing Up The Carved Portion

I cleaned up all of the window openings by first drilling out the glassed portion and then trimming around it with a small knife to produce the individual panes.  You can see the drilled out portion on the little shed windows

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Following that, I added a few more accents.  A new lower door came into play.  Because the bark was a little indented at this point, the door is now cut further into the bark and looks a bit recessed.  I also extended the brick work and added a few larger blocks beneath them for support.  Wouldn’t want all of those bricks falling apart for lack of a good foundation!

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And that pretty much brings me to the end of the carving portion of this project.  I want to touch up a few pieces and use some sandpaper on the insides of the windows to take away any remaining fuzzy parts…and then it’s time to apply a urethane finish.

Building a Shed and some Brick-Work

I started off by deepening the glass frames, window and doors on the upper level.  You have to be pretty careful when trimming the bark down to what will become window and door frames as the bark is fairly fragile when thinned down.  When I do cut the windows through, I’ll want to leave at least a 1/4″ depth of bark for strength.

I also started the rows of brick.  Start with cutting the horizontal lines and then add the horizontal breaks for bricks.  Remember to alternate back and forth with the bricks so that you don’t end up with the ends of the bricks one on top of the other.  I also like to make the bricks look irregular by cutting the edges off randomly so that they lose their flat profile.  The fewer flat profiles throughout the carving, the better, as it will give a nice shadow effect when the light hits it.

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For the first time in my bark carving experience, I added a couple of pieces with glue to make the shed.  So, I trimmed that protrusion on the side of the bark to give it a flat profile and then glued a piece to the side.  That’s the four-sided piece you see sitting vertically.  I then took another larger piece of bark and by marking the top of the recess where it would fit with lead crayon, I transferred the markings to the top of the new piece, cut those “high point” markings away and eventually got the roof to fit nicely.  I just used a woodworking glue and it worked very nicely.

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Now onto some shingles on that new roof so the rain doesn’t pour in…

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A Bark Lighthouse

Here’s the start to a bark lighthouse based loosely on a famous lighthouse found at Martha’s Vineyard.  Known as the Gay Head Lighthouse, it’s famous in that it was moved intact from it’s location in 2015.  You can google it and you’ll find that it’s an interesting story.

The bark is from a Cottonwood tree near Kingston.  This climate produces a thinner and darker version of the bark than that which you would see from the west coast.  You might recall that the lighthouse that I made for Peggy’s uncle some time ago was made from the same tree.

Here’s where it starts…looking hard at a piece of bark to try to see a lighthouse in it!  Can you see it?  How about a lighthouse with a little shed-like shelter at the base?  See it now?

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The lighthouse that I’m carving has a very large glassed section with a similar sized level below it and then a final base that’s about 2 1/2 times longer than the upper levels.  I’m using a bit of creative licence to add the little shed and I’m going to add some cedar shingled roofs and larger, aged bricks just because they look really good in a bark carving.

Here’s the first roughing-in.  Although you want to be very close to a vacuum system, I like to use a Foredom tool and Typhoon bit to do the initial shaping.  It’s quick and it’s easy on the bark.

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Then with a couple of knives and a gouge, I added a bit of detail to start getting the dimensions right.  If you have tried bark carving, you’ll know that it doesn’t carve like a block of wood.  The only way that I can describe it is to imagine that you’re carving a softwood that has some qualities of cork.  The knife or gouge isn’t quite pushed or pulled through the material…it’s more like a shearing action where you slide the knife along as you push or pull.

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Now you can see where that shed is going to go, right?  Of course, before it’s finished, all of that glass area and windows / doors will be hollowed out.  I like to keep that to the last so that the bark is as strong as possible while I’m carving so I don’t run the risk of damaging anything.

Cottonwood Lighthouse

Ok…so, this is the last of the Cottonwood carving for a little while…but, I absolutely needed to do a lighthouse…

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